Legal Marketing Blog

Client Feedback – Importance of Surveying the Field

Posted by Jennifer Macqueen

There’s an old-fashioned method to gaining valuable information from your clients that is as relevant in today’s technology-driven world as it was decades ago. Ask your clients to share their thoughts.

One of the simplest and most effective ways to learn what your clients need—often, before they realize it themselves—is to ask them.  In the old days law firms would conduct occasional print and then online surveys.  In today’s world, collecting client feedback is best done in an informal face-to-face setting.  This is still an unobtrusive way to stay connected to clients, a method by which firm’s can show clients they care, and are interested in helping clients to achieve their goals.

Everyone appreciates being asked their opinion. And if you connect your questions to solutions, you will be viewed as providing yet one more valuable service.

Starting with the year – in January or February – is a good time to ask your clients to take stock, and think about strategies for moving forward in the new year, and how you can help advance their goals.

Survey Goals

There are several goals involved in lawyers conducting client surveys. Either by selecting a small subset of clients, or taking a broad survey, it’s important to narrow down what you want to accomplish before developing the survey. Think about why you are approaching your client, and what it is that you hope to gain:

  • Survey as a conversation starter: if you need an opener to refresh a lost connection, asking a client to answer a few short questions to learn about their current needs is a great to get the dialogue going.
  • Survey as a solution generator: position your survey as a way to help clients solve problems. Become a resource that your clients will learn to turn to when they are stuck on a problem. Conducting a survey is a good way to achieve this.
  • Survey as a communication device: are you trying gain new business? Presenting a survey to prospective clients can be a valuable tool to identifying insights and offering options.

Tips for Successful Surveys

In order to get the most out of any effort, keep a few things in mind when building and conducting your survey.

  • Ask questions that might lead to specific action items.
  • Ask open-ended questions, for example: “Last time we spoke you mentioned opening a branch office down south.  Is that still a goal and if so, what challenges are you facing in moving ahead with that plan?”
  • Taylor your conversation to the specific industry of the respective client you’re talking to – make sure every question is relevant to that client’s business.
  • Spend the majority of your time listening.  Don’t interrupt your client

Let the Experts at Firm Evolution Help

Give us a call if you need help crafting messages, and coming up with substantive questions.  Firm Evolution provides a wide range of public relation and marketing services throughout Seattle, Salt Lake City and Madison, Wisconsin. We focus on the needs, goals and differentiating aspects of each law firm client. Our emphasis is on the big picture—leveraging the strengths of the individual attorneys, practice groups and overall firm on all fronts. We work closely with our clients to insure that all components of their marketing program—from press releases and marketing plans, to website and Internet campaigns—provide a strong foundation for maintaining existing clients and developing new ones. Contact us at 206.321.3220 to learn more.